Indonesia ‘delays’ rollout of AstraZeneca jab, says health minister

Indonesia ‘delays’ rollout of AstraZeneca jab, says health minister
Indonesia ‘delays’ rollout of AstraZeneca jab, says health minister

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The move comes after Ireland and the Netherlands became the latest countries to suspend AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shots . ― Reuters pic

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JAKARTA, March 15 — Indonesia will delay the rollout of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 jab pending a review by the World Health Organization (WHO) into blood clot fears, the Southeast Asian nation’s health minister said today.

“To be conservative, (Indonesian health regulators) are delaying the implementation of AstraZeneca while waiting for confirmation from WHO,” Budi Gunadi Sadikin told parliament.

The move comes after Ireland and the Netherlands became the latest countries to suspend AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 shots over blood clot concerns despite the drugmaker and the WHO insisting there is no risk.

AstraZeneca is one of just a handful of coronavirus vaccines being rolled out globally—and as one of the cheapest on the market is crucial to ensuring poorer countries have access to the jab. 

Indonesia, the world’s fourth most-populous nation, received 1.1 million doses of the AstraZeneca jab this month with another 10 million more expected by late April. 

So far, the sprawling archipelago has been relying on a jab developed by China’s Sinovac as it rolls out an ambitious plan to inoculate more than 181 million of its nearly 270 million people within a year.

Indonesia is one of the hardest-hit countries in Asia with more than 1.4 million infections and nearly 39,000 deaths, although the true toll is thought to be higher. — AFP

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